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The Clee Hills are a range of hills in Shropshiremarker, Englandmarker near Ludlowmarker, consisting of Brown Clee Hillmarker (540m), the highest peak in Shropshire, and Titterstone Clee Hillmarker (533m). They are both in the Shropshire Hillsmarker Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Geography

The hills stretch over 15 miles and run north - south, and for about this distance the lowest point along the hills is just under 300 metres. Titterstone Clee Hillmarker is around five miles south of Brown Clee Hillmarker.

The B4364 road from Ludlowmarker to Bridgnorthmarker runs between the two hills, offering good views of both. The hills have been said to form a "gateway" from the built up areas of the West Midlandsmarker to the hills and rural landscape of Walesmarker and are at the heart of the Welsh Marches. Much Quarrying has taken place on the hills over the years, and there are large air traffic control domes and radar towers on the summits of both hills which can be seen for many miles around.
Titterstone Clee Hill from Ludlow Castle

The View

Views from the west of the hills spread as far as Snowdoniamarker and Cadair Idrismarker, the Brecon Beaconsmarker, the Black Mountainsmarker, The Long Mynd, Stiperstones Shropshire's third highest peak, Corndon Hillmarker and Radnor Forestmarker. To the south are the Malvern Hillsmarker and the Cotswoldsmarker, and to the east are the Clent Hillsmarker, Turner's Hill , Barr Beaconmarker and the spread of the West Midlandsmarker. To the north is Cannock Chasemarker, and on a very clear day the hills of the Peak Districtmarker including The Roachesmarker and Winter Hillmarker.

It is possible to see the urban centres of Dudleymarker and Wolverhamptonmarker, with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC's Molineux stadiummarker visible. The hills mark a clear eastern boundary to the Shropshire Hillsmarker, and are just west of the Severn Valley between Bridgnorthmarker and Bewdleymarker. The hills stand out over the surrounding countryside and can be seen from well into Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshiremarker and the Black Countrymarker. They can also be seen, on a clear day, from the M5 Motorway on the northbound approach to Bromsgrovemarker. The hills were created by glacial activity in the last Ice Age.

In the summer the hills are green and are easy walking, attracting many visitors from the Black Countrymarker and other parts of the West Midlands as well as much further afield, but care must be taken during winter, as though most of the time there is no snow and ice on the hills, when it comes it can be sudden and severe with very strong gales and blizzards often closing roads on the hill.

The village of Cleehillmarker, lies on the slopes of Titterstone Clee Hill, about half way between Ludlowmarker and Cleobury Mortimermarker.

The area is important for wildlife, with Peregrine, Kestrel, Northern Wheatear, European Stonechat, Skylark, Eurasian Curlew and Barn Owl often seen, as well as Adders, Rabbits and other birds. Even Ravens are making a comeback on Clee Hill. In late July and early August 2007, Catherton Common near Titterstone Clee was home to a very rare Woodchat Shrike, and attracted so-called "twitchers" from far and wide.

The hills in popular culture

  • There is a long-standing rumour in the local area - that is that they are the highest land eastwards until the Ural Mountainsmarker in Russiamarker. Hence the name of the pub in Clee Hill village - The Kremlin Inn. It has even been known for radios in the area to pick up signals via the air traffic control masts from Radio Moscowmarker.
Abdon Burf, the summit of the Brown Clee in freezing conditions.
The radar masts are clearly visible.


  • Titterstone Clee and Brown Clee also figure in Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mystery, The Virgin in the Ice.


  • The Clee Hills have given rise to many place names in the area, including the villages of Cleehillmarker, Cleeton St Mary, Cleestanton and Cleedownton.


  • Some people believe that 'The Shire' in Tolkien's famed novel 'the Lord of the Rings' was based on this area, which he was known to visit frequently, having grown up in Birmingham.


Terminology

The Clee Hills often cause confusion amongst people through their names, but basically:









  • Clee Hill - rather confusingly there is actually no such thing as Clee Hill, and it is seen as either:


External links




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